Posted in advent, prophecy, theology

Nativity & Advent: Zacharias- There’s no such thing as chance, even when casting lots

By Elizabeth Prata

Did you know that the practice of casting lots is called cleromancy? I didn’t. Wikipedia defines it-

Cleromancy is a form of sortition, casting of lots, in which an outcome is determined by means that normally would be considered random, such as the rolling of dice, but are sometimes believed to reveal the will of God

What is casting lots? by Matt Slick Continue reading “Nativity & Advent: Zacharias- There’s no such thing as chance, even when casting lots”

Posted in prophecy, theology

When God changed the calendar

By Elizabeth Prata

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2“This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. (Exodus 12:1-2).

In that verse, the LORD Is preparing the Hebrews for the grand finale, the last plague and their exit from Egypt. Upcoming is the Passover, where the LORD Instructs Moses and Aaron to tell the people to stay in their homes that night, eat only unleavened bread, and to take an unblemished lamb, slaughter it, and use a hyssop branch to daub the doorposts with its blood. The death angel would pass over any home so marked.

So in commemoration and in preparation, the LORD changed the month. Formerly Abib, corresponding to our April (roughly), the LORD announced the change. Continue reading “When God changed the calendar”

Posted in prophecy, theology

“Climate change”? Really?

By Elizabeth Prata

In the last little while, the news stories regarding weather have increased regarding “climate change”.

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, the French critic, famously said, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The climate has been changing since the Fall of man.

I wrote a blog essay a while ago showing my interpretation of the Revelation 6:12 verse, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” It is called “Of volcanoes, dry fog, and sun as sackcloth“.

In that blog essay, I posted some examples of what sackcloth looks like. When volcanoes erupt, the ash circles the atmosphere and the sun’s rays are dimmed, and what rays do emit through the haze look hairy instead of like beams. Volcanic ash has the same effect on the sun as described in the Revelation verse.

The Byzantine historian Procopius recorded in 536, in his report on the wars with the Vandals, “during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness…and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”

That event is thought to have been caused by an earth-covering atmospheric dust veil, probably resulting from a large volcanic eruption.

The weather changes and attendant devastation on plant and human life when a volcanic eruption takes place is called “Volcanic Winter”. The science magazine Wired has a great article about volcanic winter that occurred in our recent past, one that happened in the 1700s (that Ben Franklin wrote about) and one that occurred in the 1800s. In the article, it states,

“The cloud of ash that was fine and light enough to stay in the atmosphere circled the globe. Average temperatures dropped as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit over the next year … and beyond. Many Europeans and North Americans called 1816 the “year without a summer.”

In Gray, Maine it was indeed called the year without a summer. The bad weather of winter 1815 continued with heavy frosts in August and snowfalls every month of the year in 1816. It became known as “The Year without a Summer” or “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death”. Scientists now believe the cause was the eruption of a volcano, Mt. Tambora, in Indonesia. On its first day of eruption, it spewed 2 cubic miles of magma into the atmosphere. The next day it spewed 36 cubic miles of rock and ash into the air. This eruption was the largest in nearly 2000 years and spewed massive quantities of ash into the atmosphere which impacted the climate in the summer of 1816. Over the next year the largest famine in the 19th century devastated the northeast, maritime Canada, and northern Europe. The famine was deadly.

This report from the July 10th Eastern Argus news of Portland ME is typical: “The weather is yet remarkable! On Monday night last a smart frost was experienced in a number of towns in this vicinity—it was confined principally to low ground.”  Imagine…a hard frost on July 10!

The Egypt Road was said to have been named so by people in East Raymond ME who used the road to come to Gray to get seed corn in the spring of 1817. One low-lying section of town between Colley Hill and the Mayall Road was fortunate enough to have its corn crop survive in 1816. This was thought to have been due to the fact that the hill where the corn grew was high, and prevailing winds scoured the frost before it could settle. Seed corn was given to some Raymond citizens. They named the road they took “Egypt Road” since they were remembering the long trek to Egypt to ask deliverance via corn from Joseph to the starving masses. (Genesis 41:49; 56)

We know that in the Tribulation, geologic changes occur which eventually re-form the face of the earth. Quakes are so severe that entire islands disappear. One thing people rarely connect are the drastic changes that occur with climate in a volcanic winter. Atmospheric changes which lead to temperature changes which lead to reduced or failing crops which leads to wars to obtain the remaining food which leads to famine which leads to death which leads to pestilence…you read Revelation 6:1-8 and you see this progression.

We are so fragile, really. All our human made systems will come to naught. The poor, beleaguered earth and its animals is surely groaning. Climate change occurs when we have volcanic eruptions, or are just regularly occurring as part of the normal cycle of life on earth. The more the weather changes, the more it stays the same, if I can paraphrase Monsieur Karr’s saying. It’s all in the hands of God.

dark cloud

Posted in prophecy, theology

God is in control and He has been since before ancient days

By Elizabeth Prata

This essay first appeared on The End Time in April 2010

The Hebrews use the term “Ancient of Days” for God so as not to accidentally say His name and blaspheme. Ancient of Days is a poetic sounding name, and a lovely one. It is also comforting. It rings with authority and by its own name has a timeline that precedes us mere humans and will outlast this earth and the Church Age. It is and was and forever will be, since ancient times. He and His throne IS the Ancient of Days!

Micah says:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” [Micah 5:2]

Daniel is a difficult book to interpret prophetically, but, then again, maybe not so difficult when you remember “scripture interprets scripture.” In 2 Peter 1:20 Peter wrote: But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, He was not saying that we would not understand it. Nor is he saying that we should not try to interpret it. He was saying that the interpretations are given to us, that they are contained in the Bible.

Let’s take a look at the following from Daniel 7:15-27–

As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.

Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet, and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.

I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.

Thus he said: The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.

But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.

When Daniel was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through his mind disturbed him, he approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all that he’d been told.

“So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things:” The student of Bible interpretation is given a gift here, because the interpretation of the verses was placed within the same chapter and only a few verses away, not far apart like in Revelation and Isaiah, for example.

—-end Daniel verses

What a blessing, that the prophet Daniel could approach the one giving the prophecy and ask for its interpretation! We can do the same, ask the Spirit to interpret the verses to us, illuminating them to our mind.

Then a few verses later we see another blessing as Daniel asks for the meaning of the fourth beast and of the horns. The vision is one of torment and anguish and war and usurpation and all sorts of chaos, but in the midst of the interpretation we receive blessing because suddenly there is order. Not order on earth, but we read of order in the heavens:

“until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” [Daniel 7:22]

Ahh, blessed order! The Ancient of Days came! And judgment was passed. In this word judgment from the Aramaic it is not judgment as in wrath and discipline, but the word ‘din‘ as in courts. And the time arrived. You see that nothing is being done in knee-jerk response to the chaos. Nothing is reflexive, judgment is appointed to occur in due course. Indeed, in verse 26 our eyes turn from the chaos on earth yet again and seeing the court come to order. Every few lines in this passage in Daniel, we flip from earth to heaven and the chaos on earth back to heaven. This is a gift to us, the reader, for before we get too upset at the chaos that must come, we are given a picture of the orderliness.

But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.

And finally in verse 27b, His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.

From the beginning of the terrible sights that are revealed to us through Daniel’s vision, we are given knowledge of the interpretation, assurance and reminder, judgment which bespeaks of a legal solidity, a seated court who carries out the judgment in a weighty and time-appointed process, and the final blessing that it shall be so forever.

What the Bible is saying to us in this passage is that:

  • Scripture interprets scripture (all truth is contained in its covers, no need to guess, and it’s available to everyone)
  • Interpretations will be given if you ask (and you should ask)
  • The Ancient of Days is ancient and is in control from before Genesis 1:1 and will be forever
  • He does things in an orderly way through legal and weighty means in His timing and rendered through heavenly judgments and court-like atmospheres (Or actual courts in heaven),
  • No matter what the chaos is on earth you can always look up to find the peace and orderliness of His control from on high. Look to His word for peace and in prayer for refreshment and calm.

throne verse

What a wonderful God we serve! What a wonderful Word He has given us!

Posted in prophecy, theology

When is the only time people like the dark?

By Elizabeth Prata

My favorite verses. They have been since I was converted in 2004 and remain so to this day. I like the language of the KJV.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:1-5).

We like the light. When we enter a dark room, what’s the first thing we do? Reach for the light. If a town or city-wide blackout occurs, it’s an emergency. Standing watch in a ship sailing through the inky night, we breathe a sigh of relief when sunrise peeks over the horizon. Bright kitchens sell houses. There is even an interior design job called lighting planner, to help illuminate the home in functional and beautiful ways.

“Ahhh, the light! It’s so much better!” Let’s get a little light on the subject!” we say.

I think everyone would agree with these statements. Everyone loves light; sunlight, tanning bed light, lamp light, candlelight.

Except the lost. They like the darkness.

I switched from speaking literally to speaking metaphorically. Lost folks do not know they are in the dark.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (John 3:19).

But they sort of do know they are in the dark. Does anyone sit at an internet cafe with their tablet or laptop to watch porn? Do they beat their wives in the restaurant? Do they brazenly steal office supplies in front of everyone? No. Those sins are done in the dark. They love their sins.

While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. (John 12:36).

Reach for the Light! Seek the Bright glory of Jesus! Those who prefer the dark will be given outer darkness forever, for the future of those who prefer the dark is to be cast into outer darkness forever!

Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 22:13).

lightdark

Posted in prophecy, theology

The Earth without Water

By Elizabeth Prata

They cry climate change, but the climate has always regularly changed. If they worry about climate change now, they should really be worried about how MUCH the climate of earth will change when the Tribulation occurs.

In reading Revelation it’s like reading a horror story of the world’s climate. Grass burned, rivers drying, sun scorching men with heat that is so unbearable, volcanic winters, you name it. Just read Revelation 6-18 to view the upcoming changes to the climate.

Christians know that it will be due to God’s transformation of the earth in preparing it for the renewal back to how the earth was before the curse. But the climate change enthusiasts and worriers will surely be declaring “We told you so” all the while repeatedly denying that it is God in charge and making these changes. (Revelation 16:9, 11, 21…)

I found this illustration of earth without water from Physics and Astronomy Zone.

Revelation 11:6 says the Two Witnesses have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.

No rain for three years? Wow. Crops fail and food becomes scarce, especially for the poor.

Climate change now? Please. They don’t know the climate that is about to change horrifically on God’s initiation and timing, but they will. As many as we share the Gospel with and who convert, so as to be raptured prior to these changes, there will be many millions left behind that will endure these terrible changes to the climate. It makes me sad, but it must be so. God will be glorified in the many who do come to faith during the prophesied time of Tribulation, in which the earth will groan so loudly that many will fall down and beg,

And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:16-17).

Posted in prophecy, theology

The darkness deepens

By Elizabeth Prata

I have friends who are unafraid and unashamed to post the biblical truth on social media, like James White, Michelle Lesley, Justin Peters, and so on. We learned a few days ago that Amazon pulled books on the subject of conversion (homosexual) therapy. This week also, the American Institute of Graphic Arts who puts on the Circles Conference disinvited a staffer from Matt Chandler’s church who was to speak, due to his “organization’s” allegedly discriminatory attitudes towards women and gay people. It’s sad to see these things come to pass, but we expected the battle on those fronts. However, my friend Michelle also was just notified that a meme she posted on Facebook was hate speech. Here it is.

women pastors

Feminism and the Homosexual Agenda are two of the enemy’s favored doctrines. He is pressing them ever forward into American culture. As he does so, he is tightening the reins of how much truth will be tolerated. This is an example.

James White wrote about this recently, saying in his blog post Wisdom From Above

what shall we do now that Google and Facebook and Twitter and Amazon are picking us off, one by one, for not saying Caesar is Lord?

James White continues in his short blog post with a few ideas about what we should do, as related to social media.

He also wrote, commenting about a recent incident from culture, that we are looking at Romans 1:32 being lived out in front of us.

It was quite a reminder that those who know God’s righteous judgment against their sin suppress that knowledge by inviting others to join them in their rebellion.

Here is the verse he mentioned, about those who participate in these sins heartily applaud those others who do as well.
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32)

When God gives them over to a depraved mind, it means their mind can’t think straight. It’s warped, twisted, and literally cannot think rationally. A vivid example of this is claiming that the meme’s language is hate speech when it’s actually just a verse describing the qualifications of preachers.

In the generations gone by, He permitted all the nations to go their own ways. (Acts 14:16)

Thirteen years ago John MacArthur preached a message that stayed with me. It was piercing in its devastating truths. It’s called When God Abandons a Nation. We know that God is a God of love, but He is also a God of wrath. There are different kinds of wrath. One of them is the Wrath of Abandonment. We can’t know when God performs certain acts, but our minds are not futile and we rationally observe the culture. As we know the prophesied outcome of All Things and the general trajectory of life and society, (Genesis 6, Judges…) we can detect by our observations when or if God might have abandoned the USA. MacArthur gives the steps to see this process. I excerpted them below.

1. So you look at a society and ask, is it driven by sexual immorality? Romans 1:24
2. Rampant degrading passions.- Plain and simple, Lesbianism, homosexuality. Romans 1:26
3. First the heart is rotten and the body follows, and then the mind goes. What is a depraved mind? Well, the word literally means tested and found useless, disqualified for its intended purpose, a non-functioning mind. Reasoning is so corrupted that it is crippled. Romans 1:28.

God given-over minds are so warped their reasoning doesn’t make sense. If anyone has spent time on Social Media, you’ve seen this futile thinking. It’s uncritical, unreasoning, twisted, and belligerent.

It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. It is also a terrible thing to be cast out of the hands of the Living God. Abandonment to one’s own desires is one of the worst things that can happen to a soul. When this occurs on a wide-spread scale, as in an entire society being given over, it’s horrible to watch.

I’m posting this not to ‘tut-tut’ the culture, but to encourage you to keep studying the word. We need to know what we believe and why. We should keep sharing the reason for the hope that is within us because as society darkens, the Light that is within us will be brighter. We need to prepare for alternative social media platforms as cultural intolerance appears to be increasingly rejecting Christ’s truths. Other platforms beside Twitter and Facebook exist, and James White mentions one or two. There are others.

MacArthur offers a hopeful conclusion in his sermon When God Abandons a Nation:

The key, listen to Me. Walk in My ways. The only hope for this or any other society is to hear the Word of the Lord and obey it, to hear the Word of the Lord and obey it. And I would suggest that this is not a good time for weak men preaching weak messages in weak churches. This is a time for bold and powerful strong biblical ministry that calls people to hear the Word of the Lord and respond. This is the only hope for any people for any individual.

All glory to God!

abandoned

Posted in prophecy, theology

The Lord will Thresh and Winnow

By Elizabeth Prata

This was posted in May 2009 on my mirror site The End Time Blogspot. It wasn’t ever posted here because a clutch of esays from before 2010 didn’t transfer to my WordPress site when I set it up, due to size limitations. Here it is now. My feeling of burden for coming judgment on those who don’t know/refuse/reject is still heavy on me ten years later as it was when I wrote this.

——————————————–

God uses a process as an example in His Word that would have been immediately identifiable to His agricultural people: threshing and winnowing. He talks of the threshing floor, the threshing barn, the winnowing fan and fork, chaff and sheaves…all these are examples of His sorting process in judgment. We have lost contact with the land. Do we fully understand know what these prophetic scriptures mean? Most of them refer to the end of days and His final admonitions and judgments. We should learn them.

Malachi 4:1
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.”

Zephaniah 2:2
Before the decree takes effect–The day passes like the chaff–Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD’S anger comes upon you.

Isaiah 41:16
“You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the LORD, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

(Left, threshing floor)

After reaping, the grain or crop is gathered and prepared for processing. In Jesus times, the main grains were wheat, which made better bread but required good soil and water, two items lacking in the desert; and barley. Barley was used for bread by less wealthy people, because it

would grow in harsh conditions with more ease. (John 6:9:”There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?”) Grain reaping was completed either by pulling it up by the roots, or cutting it with a type of sickle. The grain when cut was generally put up in sheaves (Gen. 37:7; Lev. 23:10-15; Ruth 2:7, 15; Job 24:10; Jer. 9:22; Micah 4:12), which were afterwards gathered to the threshing-floor or stored in barns (Matt. 6:26).

Next comes threshing. Circular floors were prepared on hilltops, where there was more wind. A threshing floor is a specially flattened surface made either of rock or beaten earth where a farmer would thresh the grain harvest by spreading the sheaves on the threshing-floor and causing oxen and cattle to walk repeatedly over them (Deut. 25:4; Isa. 28:28) using a moreg, a threshing roller or sledge (2 Sam. 24:22; 1 Chr. 21:23; Isa. 3:15). However the a sledge

sometimes damaged the grain. Next, winnowing. After the grain was threshed, it was winnowed by being thrown up against the wind (Jer. 4:11), and afterwards tossed with wooden scoops (Isa. 30:24). The shovel and the fan for winnowing are mentioned in Ps. 35:5, Job 21:18, Isa. 17:13. The refuse of straw and chaff was burned (Isa. 5:24). Freed from impurities, the grain was then stored in granaries till used (Deut. 28:8; Prov. 3:10; Matt. 6:26; 13:30; Luke 12:18).

Are you wheat, good men who will be gathered from the barns to His bosom? Or are you chaff, which will be left behind and burned with unquenchable fire? Do not wait for the very end to find out. Pray to Jesus today and ask to be forgiven of your sins, and He will do so. Ask Him to be the Lord of your life, and He will be so. Then when the time of judgment comes, you will know with certainty where you stand in the winnowing.

Posted in prophecy, theology

Urgency of the Times

By Elizabeth Prata

I have pneumonia. I’ll be doing re-runs until I can clearly think and research. The essay below the line was published in October 2012 on The End Time.

A prefatory note: I’ve always been interested in prophecy. Jesus’s return has always been imminent. It was for Paul 2000 years ago and it is even more so for us. In my short time as a Christian, but having lived a long time as a pagan (through the 60s sexual revolution, the 70s feminist revolution, and the 80s decade of greed) it’s obvious that the veneer of civility and morality covering American culture is melting away like a snowflake on a hot iron. In addition, the more recent developments in evangelicalism with the high rates of biblical illiteracy, charismaticism, female rebellion, social justice replacing the Gospel, and the collapse of the Southern Baptist Convention (long thought to be a bastion of conservatism) the snowflake melting has occurred in the visible church as well.

It’s something to mourn, but nothing to be surprised about. Jesus will return soon and right every wrong. I’ve been warning of His soon return for 12 years and if I warn of it for another 50 years His return would still have been imminent.

Now on to the re-post.
____________________________

I’ve been reading Jeremiah 4, a tough, tough chapter. There are so many parallels between Jeremiah’s time and ours… So when I finished reading, I re-listened to John MacArthur’s sermon that he delivered in June 2011 about Jeremiah and his times, called, “Prophetic Message to an Ungodly Nation” and he compared it to our times. They are so similar it is amazing. I guess maybe not so amazing…because sinful people are still sinful people and pride is still pride and culture is still fallen.

I also listened to a sermon on Jesus as the Word from John 1. My favorite verses in the bible are John 1:1-5. So that was a good sermon to listen to, very edifying and beautiful. Stay in the word. Jesus is our rock to cling to.

Here is an essay by Dr. David Reagan on the topics of Urgency and Encouragement. I hope it encourages you as it did me.

——————————

Urgency
Dr. David R. Reagan,
Monday, October 29, 2012

There is a sense of urgency in the air. Our nation is on the brink of moral and economic collapse. The world is caught up in an insane frenzy of terrorism. The Middle East is about to explode. And the biblical signs of the times are shouting from the heavens that Jesus is about to return.

In the words of Charles Dickens, “It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.”

It is the worst of times because the depravity of Man is manifesting itself in the increasing rejection and blasphemy of God. The result is an exponential increase in violence and immorality.

It is the best of times because the collapse of society worldwide is the fulfillment of end time prophecies that point to the soon return of Jesus.

An Exciting But Challenging Time

We are privileged to be living in such an exciting and momentous time when we can witness the stage being set for the triumphant return of Jesus. But it is a time that calls for courage.

We simply must keep our eyes on Jesus, and we must remember that even if our nation has no hope, we as individual Christians have great hope.

But that sense of hope will prevail in our lives only if we consciously and determinedly live with an eternal perspective.

God is in Control

We must keep in mind that as the world falls apart around us, God’s Word says that He “sits in the heavens and laughs” (Psalm 2:4). His laughter is not prompted by a lack of concern. Rather, He laughs because He has everything under control, for He has the wisdom and power to orchestrate all the evil of Man and Satan to the ultimate triumph of His Son.

He has also promised that He will walk with those who are Christians, accompanying us through fire and high water (Isaiah 43:1-3).

And He has promised us an escape before the world totally collapses into absolute chaos (Luke 21:36). That escape is called the Rapture. When Paul revealed this escape in detail in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, he concluded by saying, “Comfort one another with these words.”

Additionally, we have the promise of the Millennial reign of Jesus to look forward to. What a day that will be!

Jesus will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords from Jerusalem. David, in his glorified body, will reign as King of Israel. We, in our glorified bodies, will be scattered across the earth to reign over those in the flesh. And the earth will be flooded with peace, righteousness and justice, as the waters cover the seas (Isaiah 2:1-4 and Isaiah 11:3-9).

Maranatha!

rapture11

Posted in prophecy, theology

The Promise of Future Bounty

Editor’s Note: I have pneumonia. I’ll be doing re-runs until I can properly think and research. This essay appeared on The End Time in June 2012.

By Elizabeth Prata

The spring has been gentle and the Lord has provided bounty from the earth. The summer garden crops have been planted and they are plenteous. The figs are coming in. The muscadine vine is full. It reminds me in particular of two verses in the Bible. They are promises. That is what prophecies are, you know. Promises of things the Lord has in store for the people who love Him and for those who don’t love Him.

Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. (Micah 4:4).

In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree. (Zechariah 3:10)

EPrata photo

In the Bible, vines (usually grape) and fig trees were emblematic of agricultural abundance and that abundance bespoke wealth. Many fig trees meant prosperity. The promised land was described in Deuteronomy 8:8 as “a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates.”

It was not described as a land flat and therefore ripe for land prospecting development. It was not described as a land full of silver and gold mines. It was not described a land of great cities producing a rich population. The prosperity that was promised was riches from a bountiful earth. Remember that after the Fall, Adam was cursed with toil, and that the land would not yield unless he worked it with sweat and labor, and even then it would produce thorns and thistles.

Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, (Genesis 3:17b-19b).

What was it like before the Fall? I can’t wait to find out, and that is what these prophecies promise. That curse will be reversed and the land will pop with generous abundance. Remember the two spies who came back, in Numbers 13:23 reporting that they saw huge grapes and figs and pomegranates? Doesn’t sitting under our own fig tree and our vine and sound relaxing? Refreshing? Like walking with God in the garden in the cool of the day.

And Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). And look what Jesus did! He did everything!

He accomplished redemption for mankind, by breaking His own body and allowing it to be poured out! We are His branches, connected to the Great Gardener whose vine covers us, and which provides all sustenance. When you’re out haying this summer, sweat running down your face, or you’re out mowing this summer, and thirsting because of the heat, or you’re gardening and battling the bugs who are killing your bean plants, remember the prophecies. Someday, working the land won’t be so hard

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. (Isaiah 32:18).

I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. (Isaiah 5:1).

How beautiful the relationship. We are the branches, closely grafted into the true vine. The true vine covers us, and we sit under it in peace and abundance. The abundance comes from the Vine Dresser who is the Father (John 15:1), who cares for the true vine in love and cares for his children, the branches.

Our God is a tremendous God!!!!!